If you haven’t heard, Mexico City has moved past the stereotype of being dirty and dangerous. It’s a giant dynamic city with heaps of culture, pretty historic buildings, and some of the best food in the world.
Mexico City Neighborhood Guide
I visited this city twice last year and loved it so much I came back this year to live for two and half months. I’ve spent time in many of the prettiest, hippest, and most attractive neighborhoods – they’re all great in their own way. But if you only have a few days or a week for your vacation, you’ll want to stay in the neighborhood that best matches your travel style.
Don’t let misconceptions about this city intimidate you. Do your research about Mexico City travel, use common sense, and enjoy all the things this awesome city has to offer!
Read on to find out which neighborhood you should stay in on your trip to Mexico City!
Roma and Condesa are the two hippest neighborhoods in the city. If you like to be among the young, artistic movers and shakers in a city, than this is the place to be.
Both neighborhoods are full of cute cafes, trendy boutiques, vibey mezcal bars, and pretty parks.
These neighborhoods border each other and have a lot of similarities, but there are a few subtle differences. Condesa is a bit more upscale and developed, while Roma still has new places popping up all the time, and a slightly younger/artier crowd
The flipside is that these neighborhoods can be a bit “touristy” – having a higher concentration of travelers and expats. Restaurants and stores also tend to be a bit pricier than other neighborhoods.
If you’re looking for a more “authentic” Mexican neighborhood as well gorgeous colorful buildings, Coyoacan is your best bet. This is one of my favorite neighborhoods in Mexico City. It has a very artsy feel – it’s the home to the excellent Frida Kahlo museum.
You could wander around every day and take pictures of vibrant houses, historic churches, cobblestone alleys, and other pretty things. The two central parks are very picturesque and popular gathering places.
Coyoacan is also very lively. You can walk the streets in the center any night, and you’ll find lots of people out, enjoying some street food, watching performers in the central parks, or having a mezcal on a terrace.
While this neighborhood does receive its fair share of tourists, not many of them actually stay here (often just visiting the Frida museum) so it has an authentic Mexican feel, while being very safe and beautiful.
The main thing to keep in mind is that Coyoacan is a bit south of the Centro, and most of the main tourist attractions. It’s well connected by the Metro, and there are plenty of Ubers, but you’ll have to plan your time and travel to reach the Centro, Roma/Condesa, Chapultepec Park, etc.
The Centro is jam packed with great attractions, awesome street food, and tons of action. This might be a good choice for you if you have a very short stay. You’ll be able to fit in visiting important landmarks like the Zocalo, the Palacio Nacional, Bellas Artes, The Museo Mural Diego Rivera, the Torre Latinoamericana, the Templo Mayor, etc.
The cons of staying in the Centro are that it becomes very quiet at night, and can be an unsafe place to wander around after dark. If you’re not looking to party at night, this shouldn’t be a problem, or you can also take an Uber back to your door from wherever you head out to in the evening.
Polanco is the most upscale neighborhood in Mexico City. If you’re a fan of quiet, well maintained and beautiful streets – this is a good choice for you. Some of the most well-renowned upscale restaurants are here, like critically acclaimed Pujol. The famous Soumaya museum is also here, which you’ll definitely want to visit for some great photo ops of the unique architecture.
Polanco is bordered by the giant and pretty Chapultepec Park. You can easy walk to the park, enjoy the greenery, go for a run, and visit some of the great museums here like the Anthropology Museum and the Chapultepec Castle (yes it really is a castle!).
Keep in mind that Polanco is upscale, so prices here will be higher than anywhere else in the city. It is also a little bit west of the action, so you will most likely need to take transportation to get to neighborhoods or sites outside of Polanco and Chapultepec park.
There is something for everyone in this giant city of over 20 million people. These are only 5 of the neighborhoods, but they are the prettiest, safest, and most equipped for tourists. You can’t go wrong with any of them, but if you pick the one that best fits your personality and travel style, you’ll enjoy your trip to the fullest!
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